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What is Telehealth?

Transcript

Hi everyone! How are you going?

Karen Finnin here, Physiotherapist and Director of Online Physio.

So I wanted to talk to you today about a buzzword that you may have heard if you’re a digital nomad and that is “telehealth”.

So telehealth is the ability to convey a medical or health consultation at a distance.

So basically the patient and the therapist may be in two separate locations yet they’re providing that health service.

Now it’s something that is certainly growing.

It’s an aspect of the health industry that is undergoing a lot of growth at the moment and so I just wanted to have a bit of a chat you about it and let you know what it is, and the common questions people have, like “Is it safe?”, you know, “What sort of health professionals can do these sort of online consultations?”.

So all about telehealth basically.

As many of you may know I convey telehealth consultations in the Physiotherapy world.

So I can do a consultation with someone who’s in a separate geographical location to me and as a profession it’s probably one of the more unusual ones.

People traditionally think of Physio as being a very hands-on profession, but in fact a lot of it is to do with putting together groups of symptoms to come up with the right diagnosis, which then leads to a rehabilitation plan which can be conveyed through exercise apps and that sort of thing.

So there’s actually a lot more that can be done online with Physio consultations than people think and it makes it a really viable way for people to make sure they’re doing the right thing for their injury when they otherwise can’t access the care.

Telehealth started in the allied health space with logical ones like counseling, Psychology that sort of thing.

Obviously more talking based sort of professions lend themselves really well to telehealth consultations.

We are even seeing it coming through in, like, Speech Therapy and a few other professions like that.

There’s also digital gadgets being created so that people can, you know, do I suppose procedures that they wouldn’t normally be able to do without the use of these pieces of technology.

Now commonly telehealth can be from a medical clinic to perhaps a distance specialist, so maybe a GP doing a consultation with a specialist and the GP and the patient are in one room and the specialist is in another location.

That can happen but there is also, which is more relevant for digital nomads, this world of consultations where literally patient somewhere therapist somewhere and they’re using technology to communicate and convey that health information.

Is it safe? Well look I’m here to tell you that absolutely it is safe but the most important thing is that the therapist is following the same code of ethics, the same professional standards that they would if they were conveying face-to-face care.

So things in terms of confidentiality, security of documents, having indemnity insurance, you know, all of those same things that apply should happen in the online space.

So I think the main thing to look for is “What is the health profession that they’re conveying? What country is that based in?” and therefore look up appropriate registers to make sure that they are licensed, that they are registered and that they’re following, you know, all the normal requirements of that health profession.

We’ll be seeing more and more telehealth services pop up over the next few years and I think with that we’ll see the development of regulation bodies to, you know, make sure and approve these things but in the meantime it can be safe.

It can be a great way to access health care when you’re outside of your own home country or you’re traveling, or even you’re at home, but you know you’re about to be travelling, and you want to be able to take that health professional with you on your travels.

Telehealth can be a really great option.

It’s something that raises a lot of questions, so if you have any questions about telehealth or how it works then feel free to drop me a line.

You can come visit me at the site at www.online.physio and you can always email me karen@online.physio.

Thanks guys glad to share with you a little bit about telehealth and the opportunities that it can provide

for people traveling around.

Thanks I’ll see you next time.

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